By Zack Quaintance — This week was (yet again) an incredibly difficult one to stick to just five choices for our Top Comics to Buy for February 20, 2019...so here we are with six! The PICK OF THE WEEK, however, was a fairly easy call: The Wild Storm #20. Holy cow has this book been a masterclass in patient comics storytelling, and now, for those of us who’ve been here all along, we’re getting rewarded with intense, high-flying action plus the return of fan favorite characters. But more on that below…
Really, superhero comics were better than usual this week with fantastic artwork in Aquaman and the nascent Naomi catapulting those into the top tier as well, while Guardians of the Galaxy #1 was so good a few weeks ago, that its merits managed to also land Guardians of the Galaxy #2 here, but, again, we’ll explain all that in the forthcoming why it’s cool sections.
So then, without further adieu, let’s check out our picks!
Top Comics to Buy for February 20, 2019
*PICK OF THE WEEK*
The Wild Storm #20
Writer: Warren Ellis
Artist: Jon Davis-Hunt
Colorist: Steve Buccelatto
Letterer: Simon Bowland
Publisher: DC Comics
Skywatch intensifies its preparation for war, increasing its attacks on the planet. For some of these conflict zones, Skywatch's greatest threat is not IO or conventional forces, but the people who escaped from its own experimentation camps. And the four people in London whom it knows little about, but who are preparing to take steps to alter the balance of the world…
Why It’s Cool: I got into this a bit in the intro (sorry, couldn’t help myself), but this is the most action-packed issue to date of a series that has spent its previous 19 installments patiently building toward a war (with one other-worldly super-detailed bout of combat in feudal Japan interspersed). Meanwhile, this issue also returns arguably the two most successful characters to be born from any WildStorm comic. It has a long-form narrative payoff, incredible visual action, and the triumphant restoration of characters we haven’t seen in a while. Simply put, this is the type of comic that reminds you why you like superhero comics.
Writer: Kelly Sue DeConnick
Artist: Robson Rocha
Inker: Daniel Henriques
Colorist: Sunny Gho
Letterer: Clayton Cowles
Publisher: DC Comics
She's heeeeeere! Witness the epic origin of Aquaman's most dangerous foe yet-the nefarious Namma! Meanwhile, Aquaman, still trying to piece together his strange vision of a mysterious red-headed woman, agrees to accompany Caille across dangerous waters to meet her long-lost mother in exchange for recovering his lost memories. But as the two allies (or maybe more?) approach Namma's island, strange events begin to occur that reveal a shocking truth about Caille herself!
Why It’s Cool: We are absolutely loving the early chapters of Kelly Sue DeConnick, Robson Rocha, Daniel Henriques, and Sunny Gho’s Aquaman run so far, which first and foremost looks incredible, but then also features a lofty tale designed to really impress upon readers the importance of the earth’s oceans. Yes, this story makes the setting a key part of the narrative, an always-excellent move for comics about Aquaman. Basically, come to this run for the art, and stay for the storytelling. Whichever you end up liking best, you’re going to be glad that you’re reading this comic.
Guardians of the Galaxy #2
Writer: Donny Cates\
Artist: Geoff Shaw
Colorist: Marte Gracia
Letterer: VC’s Cory Petit
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Thanos is dead... Long live the NEW Thanos!
But who will it be?!
Will the new Guardians of the Galaxy find that person in time before the universe comes crashing down?
Why It’s Cool: We absolutely loved Guardians of the Galaxy #1, which was essentially an extension of Donny Cates and Geoff Shaw’s incredible Thanos Wins. As noted in the intro to this piece, the strength of that issue alone was enough to guarantee we’d not only come back for this one but also place it here among our top comics to buy for February 20. What Cates and Shaw are engaged in here is one heck of a cosmic superhero epic, and, for those of us who like that sort of thing, this book is not to be missed.
Mars Attacks #5
Writer: Kyle Starks
Artist: Chris Schweizer
Colorist: Liz Trice Schweizer
Publisher: Dynamite Comics
When things may be at their lowest, Spencer Carbutt may just become the man that his father has been trying to make him amidst all of the explosions and meltings and giant insects making a mess of all types of infrastructure. Make sure you grab yourself a copy of the conclusion to the rootinest, tootinest, Martian-shootin'est comic book you did ever dang see!
Why It’s Cool: This book has been funny and surprisingly emotional from its start, especially last issue, and the finale is no exception. In the final issue of this miniseries, the schlubby main character that writer Kyle Starks and artist Chris Schweizer have created completes a neat and satisfying little character arc, with Schweizer doing his best (and most detailed) apocalyptic artwork in this series to date. Highly recommend this whole mini.
Writer: Marjorie Liu
Artist: Sana Takeda
Letterer: Rus Wooton
Publisher: Image Comics
Five-time Eisner Award winner for 2018! As Kippa descends into the darkness, she confronts the most ancient of foes…
Why It’s Cool: The best-looking book in all of comics returned last month with an action-packed issue that seemed to maybe initiate an end game for this fantasy tale. All of that continues in this week’s issue, which, as always, will absolutely tickle your eyeballs with the sheer talent on display in the visuals. Other than Saga (which as we well know is on hiatus) there’s not a better example today of the immersive world-building power of comics than Monstress. Basically, if you love this medium, you must be reading this book.
Writers: Brian Michael Bendis & David F. Walker
Artist: Jamal Campbell
Letterer: Carlos M. Mangual
Publisher: DC Comics - Wonder Comics
The most startling and intriguing mystery in the DC Universe continues as Naomi searches to uncover the secrets of her own origin. What do her small town's oversized mechanic and the last time a super-powered person appeared in her hometown have to do with the day she was adopted? Big emotions, new characters and a last page cliffhanger that can't be missed lead off this issue drawn by breakout sensation Jamal Campbell. Don't miss your chance to meet the most exciting new character in the DC Universe!
Why It’s Cool: We are firmly in the camp that believes this move to DC Comics has pushed writer Brian Michael Bendis to do some of his best work in years (although, we were thoroughly enjoying his final Marvel books, especially Iron Man and Defenders). We are also thoroughly in the camp that believes David F. Walker is one of the most underrated talents in all of comics and that the Big 2 should quit hiring him, letting him do a few issues of an amazing new comic, and then cancelling it. Well, on Naomi Bendis and Walker are working together, armed as they are with the absolutely stunning art of Jamal Campbell. All of it is built upon a mystery that teases a look at the DC Universe that we’ve never seen before. Count us not only for this issue but for the (hopefully) long haul.
Top New #1 Comics
Age of X-Man: Amazing Nightcrawler #1
High Level #1
Love Romances One Shot
Sharkey the Bounty Hunter #1
Stronghold #1 (check out our review!)
Wolverine: Infinity Watch #1
Others Receiving Votes
Bitter Root #4
Black Badge #7
Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man #3
Hot Lunch Special #5 (check out our review)
Lone Ranger #5
Justice League #18
Miles Morales: Spider-Man #3
Relay #4 (check out our review)
Uncanny X-Men #12
Zack Quaintance is a tech reporter by day and freelance writer by night/weekend. He Tweets compulsively about storytelling and comics as BatmansBookcase.